Normative influences are the events that affect a majority of the population of a particular society. They are normative because they create norms that most though not all individuals in society follow. The custom of marriage is an example of normative influence on the life of an individual.
As opposed to normative influences, rare events which affect only some individuals of a population are called non-normative influences. For instance, winning a lottery is an example of a non-normative influence in the life of the individual.
Types of normative influence:
The three kinds of normative influences are as follows:
1. Normative history graded influences are the historical events that have an influence on a majority of the population of that historical period.
2. Normative age-graded influences are the experiences that people have due to their age.
3. Normative socio-cultural influences refer to the culture and society which inevitably have an influence on the life of the individual.
Normative influences in statistical analysis:
Since normative influences are predictable and affect a majority of the population, they can be treated as the independent variables in statistical and predictive models. On the other hand, it might be difficult to predict nonnormative influences by identifying the underlying causes between them. Hence they are treated as “statistical noise” whenever we construct a statistical model.
For example, if we were to construct a regression model for modeling the lifespans of individuals, things like diet and active lifestyle would be treated as independent variables whereas things like accidents and rare terminal diseases would be considered as part of the error term.